National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI Legal Publications

One of the main projects of the NAMI Legal Center is to publish material to help families, consumers, and advocates understand their legal rights. Our publications include:

The Legal Letter published twice a year. The Legal Letter is designed to provide attorneys and other interested persons with substantive information on legal issues that relate to persons with severe mental illnesses. This resource is available on line.

Legal Protection and Advocacy Strategies for People with Severe Mental Illnesses in Managed Care Systems (2001). This resource provides an overview of legal issues in both the public and private sectors-although much of the focus is on Medicaid, on which many people with severe mental illnesses depend. The manual is a blueprint for challenging decisions and practices in often-complicated systems. This resource is available online in adobe acrobat format (pdf file).

The following publications are available for purchase online through the NAMI Store.

A Legacy of Failure: The Inability of the Federal-State Vocational Rehabilitation System to Serve People with Serious Mental Illnesses (1997)
An evaluation of the current effectiveness of state programs, this report identifies serious concerns relating to certain practices, expenditures, and outcomes.

A Guide to Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System (1995)
A systems guide for families and consumers about criminal procedures and major issues which arise in the course of criminal proceedings.

Criminalizing the Seriously Mentally Ill: The Abuse of Jails as Mental Hospitals (1992)
This is an advocate resource for persons with mental illnesses who are jailed.